Europe needs to get its act together: Soros

Europe needs to be more pro-active in helping Ukraine in its struggle against Russia, billionaire investor George Soros told CNBC on Thursday, stressing that it was in the region's best interest to do so.

"Europe needs to get its act together and be more active in helping Ukraine fight for itself," he said in Brussels. "Because Ukraine wants to be part of Europe - effectively, the attack on Ukraine is indirectly an attack on the European Union."

Western countries have already imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Russia since its annexation of the Crimean peninsula in March, with Moscow imposing tit-for-tat measures in response. Such penalties have affected both European economies and Russia, with companies that do business in both countries especially badly hit.

In an article published Thursday in The New York Review of Books entitled "Wake Up, Europe" Soros said Russia was threatening Europe's "very existence".

George Soros
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images
George Soros

"It's certainly in Europe's duty and interest to enable Ukraine to fight for its independence," he added, when talking to CNBC.

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The legendary investor, who is originally from Hungary in eastern Europe, has previously warned of a second Great Depression and argued that Europe is already in deflation.

"I am not the only one. I think this is now pretty generally recognised," he said, arguing that fiscal stimulus across Europe – and especially in Ukraine – was needed. "Leaving it only to monetary policy is one-sided. You need fiscal stimulus as well… You need a more balanced policy."

There are growing concerns about the inflationary picture in the euro zone in particular, which has been battled growth-sapping disinflation for months. In September, annual price growth slowed to just 0.3 percent, fuelling worries that the area is heading for a period of deflation.

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"Right now, you've (Europe) got a lot of problems, of which Ukraine is just one," he said, when asked about the region's potential for investment. "Hopefully they'll solve the problem, then it will become more interesting."

But Soros refused to be drawn into a discussion about the recent volatility plaguing markets across the world.

"I'm no longer active in managing money. I am outside observer and my views are not as sharp as they used to be," he said, smiling.

- By CNBC's Katrina Bishop